Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2019 Matthew 14:33.

Matthew 14:33.    ​And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

 

And then it was Sunday…Oh beautiful Sunday! Time to join fellow believers in praise, worship and thanksgiving at the Lord’s house on His special day. What a wonderful privilege to come into His presence with others of like mind, to hear His Word, exalt His holy name and receive His awesome confidence, LOVE, mercy, grace and strength that enable us to keep on fighting the good fight in His name! So, without further ado, let’s do as we always do nuh, (smile) begin with a song of praise. And today’s song is aptly titled: ‘LOVE LIFTED ME!’ And so it did friends; Christ’s great LOVE for us, lifted us out of the mire of sin, through His sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary that paid the price of sin for all time. 

But we all know that, so let’s check out something that we might not know, namely the story behind today’s hymn. According to the web site GodTube, it was written and published in 1912 by Arthur James Rowe (1865-1933), a copper miner’s son, an immigrant to the U.S from Ireland in 1889. He worked for ten years on the New York railroads, then became an inspector for the Hudson River Humane Society. The hymn was inspired by two biblical stories, both about Jesus and His disciples on the stormy seas of Galilee. (Matt.14:22-33) & (Matt.8:23-27). ‘Rowe masterfully incorporates both stories, using sinking or being swamped into the sea as an illustration for “sinking deep in sin…sinking to rise no more.” Jesus, “Master of the sea,” hears our pleas for help, reaches out to us in LOVE, and lifts us up into the well being of grace.’ Oh what a beautiful description! 

So now that we have some idea of what the hymn is all about, let’s sing it nuh, in strong, soulful voice, with exquisite harmony, and much sincere thanks and gratitude appropriately flowing from our hearts. Altogether now: ‘I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more; But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, From the waters lifted me, now safe am I. (Refrain: LOVE lifted me! LOVE lifted me! When nothing else could help, LOVE lifted me. LOVE lifted me! LOVE lifted me! When nothing else could help, LOVE lifted me.) 

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling, In his blessed presence live, ever his praises sing. LOVE so mighty and so true merits my soul’s best songs; Faithful LOVING service, too, to Him belongs. [Refrain] Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves; He will lift you by His LOVE out of the angry waves; He’s the master of the sea, billows His will obey, He, your Saviour wants to be, be saved today. [Refrain: LOVE lifted me…When nothing could help…LOVE lifted me…’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers? It’s only something as powerful as LOVE that could have ever lifted us out of the depths of sin! The amazing LOVE of Jesus is the only thing ‘that can lift us out of despair to salvation.’ Now let’s refresh our memories about those two stories on which today’s hymn was based. The first one tells us about Jesus entering a ship with His disciples. ‘And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?’ (Matt.8:24-27) 

Ah friends, as the hymn says, Jesus is the ‘Master of the sea.’ He was intimately involved in making it, therefore, it must do as He directs it. The second story happens after Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod. When Jesus heard of it, He was saddened, and took a ship to a deserted place to be alone. But the crowds followed Him, and Jesus being Jesus, was filled with compassion and He taught them and healed their sick, then later on He fed them; five thousand men, beside women and children. (Matt.14:1-14) After that, He sent the disciples away in a ship, dispersed the multitude, then went up into a mountain by himself to pray. However, while Jesus was up on the mountain praying, the disciples were having an extremely hard time crossing the sea of Galilee because of a severe storm, brewed up by a contrary wind. 

By the fourth watch (3-6 a.m.) they were obviously tired from rowing all night and not making much progress. Then suddenly this apparition appeared unto them walking on the water. They claimed it was a ghost and cried out in fear. ‘But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I, be not afraid. Then Peter with his impulsive self blurted out: ‘Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee  on the water. And he said,  Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous (violent) he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.’ (Matt.14:27-33) 

Ah mih people, please note Jesus response in both situations: ‘O ye of little faith.’ He challenged them on the substance of their faith. They had seen Him do all sorts of miracles, yet still they were scared of their own shadows. When He walked on water to them, a few hours earlier they had seen him feed over five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two small fishes, and still pick up twelve full baskets of left overs. So why should they be so afraid seeing Him walk and water and calm the stormy seas eh? The sad part of the story though is that unfortunately, we are in the same boat as the disciples. We talk a good talk, but when adversity strikes, we forget all the wonderful miracles that Jesus has done in our lives, and we too cry out in faithless fear. 

But the long and short of the story is that we know much more about Jesus and how He works, than the disciples did, so we ought not to be as afraid as so many of us are. Each adversity we undergo, and He brings us through successfully, ought to build our faith and make us stronger. So please, let’s ponder on all that we’ve said today nuh, and promise ourselves to try and do better, faith wise, with God’s help of course. Jesus needs us to show strong faith to the unbelievers, so that they too will want to share His salvation! Much LOVE!

…it should not be as hard for us…as it was for the disciples…to truly believe…that Jesus is the Son of God…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2018 Isaiah 9:2.

Isaiah 9:2.   The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
 
And then it was Sunday…Christmas Sunday…Yay! Just imagine friends, only two more days and it’s here; one of the biggest and best days ever in the history of mankind; the day when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born! Glory Hallelujah! Give the Father much thanks and praise for sending His only Son as a human to dwell amongst us and show us His holy ways! 

And as always, when we gather in His sanctuary on a Sunday we open with praise and worship, exalting His name and softening our hearts so that we can receive His holy Word. And today we’re singing that magnificent and well-known, traditional Christmas hymn, ‘Silent Night’ (“Stille Nacht” in its original German). 

‘The song was originally a poem written by pastor Joseph Franz Mohr and composed by his friend Franz Xaver Gruber in early 19th century Austria. Pastor Mohr desperately needed a carol for the Christmas Eve midnight mass that was only hours away, and he hoped Gruber – a school teacher as well as the church’s choir master and organist – could set his poem to music; he composed the melody in just a few hours on that Christmas Eve. 

The melody used today (a slow, meditative lullaby or pastorale) is slightly different from Gruber’s original (a moderato tune in 6/8 time and siciliana rhythm), particularly in the final strain. The English translation we most frequently sing today was written and published by Episcopal priest John Freeman Young in 1859, who translated three verses of Mohr’s original six.’ 

So now that we know something about the song’s origins, let’s sing it with heartfelt praise and gratitude nuh. As one earthly choir now! ‘Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace. Silent night, holy night, Shepherds quake at the sight; Glories stream from heaven afar, Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born! 

Silent night, holy night, Son of God, LOVE’S pure light; Radiant beams from thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth. Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, our Saviour’s birth changed the world like nothing before it ever has! As the prophet Isaiah declared long before it happened: ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ 

Yes my people, Christ’s birth brought the light of heaven to earth where many were living in darkness and evil. And unfortunately, two thousand years later, too many of us are still living in darkness and evil! 

And Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, when he had regained his voice, after being struck dumb for not believing the angel Gabriel’s promise of a son in his old age, (Luke 1:11-20) also spoke of God’s redemption of His people, on the day that John was presented to the Lord. 

‘And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation (a Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David; As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 

That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant.; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.’ (Luke 1:67-75) 

Yeh friends, please note those provisos: ‘serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our lives.’ God’s promises weren’t any fly by night stuff; they had a definite purpose behind them!

And if you don’t believe, then the scholars point us to ‘1:73: See Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:1-6; 22:15-18).’ Yes friends, that’s a list of the promises God made to Abraham, every one of which He kept! Please check them out for yourselves. I just did! 

But Zechariah was not done with prophesying. Having spoken of Jesus, he turned to his son, John: ‘And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins,

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring (Messiah) from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:76-79) 

That’s why John is known as the forerunner of Christ; he was sent to prepare the way for Christ’s coming. And the scholars give an interesting explanation of ‘1:78: Dayspring means “dawn” and figuratively refers to the coming of the Messiah. The clause should be translated, “Dawn from heaven will visit us.” That is the Messiah from heaven will come to help us. God’s messianic deliverance is often expressed as the bursting forth of a great light.’ 

Ah mih people, this Christmas season, as we celebrate Christ’s birth, please, please let’s allow that great light to burst forth in our lives nuh, so that we can be delivered out of all the darkness that currently covers us! Much LOVE!

…for with thee is the fountain of life…in thy light…shall we see light… (Ps.36:9)  

P.S. Yeh, it’s somewhat late, but I had to go to church first…And anyway, it’s still enlightening! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 December 2018 Luke 1:45.

Luke 1:45.   ​And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.
 
And so we’ve finally arrived at Saturday; a day unlike any other, where we can work, play or simply rest…or even do all three if we so desire! I guess you can call Saturday a day of different things to different people, filled with a hodgepodge of situations and choices. 

But it is a good day also for reflection on our past week; what we’ve done, what we haven’t done, what we liked, what we didn’t like, and most importantly, if we’ve walked with the Lord on a satisfactory level. Let’s hope we will all reflect and discover that we’ve made good progress in our daily walk with the Lord. Praise His holy name! 

Now since it’s Saturday, let’s see what gems of wisdom our friend Anselm sent us this past week in his noble aspiration to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one tells us: ‘At the end of the day, life is about being happy being who you are, and I feel like we are so blessed to have the support system and the best family to really just support each other no matter what we’re going through.’ 

Now that is surely the epitome of family relationships! But unfortunately too many of those relationships nowadays are clothed in distrust and resentment, turning against each other, instead of standing strong for and trying to help one another. Even when we are happy and contented in being who we are, our support systems are usually sub-par. And one can’t build a good life on that! 

However, having solid support systems, regardless of our differences is something that  ALL families, especially the Christian ones, should purposely aspire to. And with Christ dwelling securely in us, it IS possible, we just have to put our minds to it, and our shoulders to the wheel. 

Then the next quote wisely advises: ‘Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not clichés but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path.’ You can’t beat that wisdom my people! 

The only proviso is that our path coincides with that of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for remember He specifically stated a long time ago: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6)

And that hasn’t changed my brethren! Jesus is still the ONLY way to the Father! So unless all our dreams and desires are in sync with His plan for our lives, all our efforts will not produce much success. Yes friends, it all depends on taking the route Jesus maps out for us! 

And the last quote simply states: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ That’s also gospel truth! Remember Jesus’ immortal words: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) Oh my fellow believers, life was definitely made for living! 

That’s why God made us and gave us all the wonderful things we have, and why Jesus came and died to continue that line of thinking. We are not to be filled with a lot of negativity and dark, evil forebodings, but be filled with the positive effects of the light that’s Jesus! 

And there again, that’s why I like Mary so much. She understood this principle long before Jesus spoke it. Though a young girl who had not seen much of life yet, she realized her call by God and accepted it without any fuss, regardless of the upheaval she knew it would cause in her life. 

Just contrast her behaviour with that of Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, earlier on in Luke 1.11-22. Zechariah was a man about town, so to speak, a priest who had seen much life, but when Gabriel showed up and told him he would have a son, John the Baptist, he doubted, claiming he was too old and all the other nonsense that we conveniently find to obstruct God’s work.  Thus he became dumb until John’s birth. 

Mary however was like a breath of pure, fresh spring air, positive and constantly moving forward in God’s appointed path. And after the angel Gabriel left her, The Good Book says: ‘And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah: And entered into the house of Zechariah, and saluted (greeted) Elisabeth. 

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation (greeting) of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence (why) is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation (greeting) sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in mine womb for joy.’ (Luke 1:39-44) 

Oh friends, oh friends, how great, marvellous and mysterious is our God eh! Elisabeth didn’t know anything about Mary’s predicament, but once she heard her voice, John the Baptist jumped for joy in her womb, because he felt the good and positive vibes that were emanating from Mary, and the Holy Spirit let Elisabeth into the secret, so much so that she could continue their discourse with these prophetic words: 

‘And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ Mama Mia! Does our God ever move in mysterious ways! Elisabeth’s eyes were opened in a second, and she knew that it would all end the way it was stated. And so it did, with the Immaculate Conception and magnificent birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! 

Ah my fellow believers, how great is our God eh! Hope you enjoyed that heartwarming story as much as I did! (smile) Much LOVE!

…it all begins…and ends…with sincerely believing in Almighty God…the undisputed Creator and Controller of the universe…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2018 Luke 1:34.

Luke 1:34.   Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?
 
So it’s a tad wet, and cloudy and still a li’l snowy from yesterday…so what? What’s the big deal eh? It’s Friday, that’s all we’re concerned about! And Friday in the Christmas season to boot! That means plenty shopping, baking, cooking, singing Christmas songs, plenty lights on trees and all over the place, hugs and kisses a plenty, plus a whole lot of pleasant greetings like: ‘Merry Christmas!’ and ‘Happy Holidays!’ etc. etc. 

But hopefully friends, underneath all that joyfulness, let’s hope the real reason for Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ surfaces and makes a true difference, not only in outward affection, but also through sincere internal appreciation and true godliness. Amen! 

And there’s nobody singing louder and more joyfully than the ordinary workingman! He’s been on his soapbox from the beginning! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday in the Christmastime! Blow me down! Christmas is just around the corner! And I don’t care about the shopping and the gifts nuh…cause I have no money to buy any! But who want to put themselves in debt…let them go right ahead yes! 

Me, I only concerned about the food and drink, and the nice time when we playing music, singing and dancing! I might even go to church for the Christmas…if I sober enough. Hn, hn, hn! But putting all joke aside, Christmas is the best time of the year oui: yuh see all yuh friends and family who you ent see for ages…and yuh nice to even the ones and them yuh doh like! Heh, heh! 

Wish it could be Christmas all year round yes! And this year it going to have plenty holidays too, because Christmas and Boxing Day on a Tuesday and Wednesday. Mama Yo! Ah can’t wait to celebrate them two days off from the massa work nuh, where he have to pay we for not working! He face going to be sour like a lime! But thank God for Fridays, weekends and Christmas time oui!’ 

Ah mih people, the workingman does have a way with words and thoughts yes. But he does have a couple of good points, like we even nice to people we don’t like, and oh…if the atmosphere, not necessarily the festive aspect, but the peace and good tidings could be present in our awful society all year round…what a wonderful world this would be! But I guess that’s just wishful thinking. No reason though why we can’t hope for it and have faith that Jesus one day will provide it. 

 Anyway, let’s sing our weekend song nuh, our Friday Chant. It might not be as colourful and imaginative as the workingman’s but it does suit our Christ-like purposes admirably. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes my Christian brethren, we need to remember that even in our joyful times not to go too far out on the limb, to stay within the borders of rationality, so that we don’t open up ourselves to attacks from the enemy; physical, spiritual and emotional, because he’s just waiting like a beast of prey to attack us on any level he can.

But enough of all of that, let’s get back to one of the most wonderful stories ever told; that of the angel Gabriel informing Mary, Jesus’ future mother, of what was going to happen. 

Remember yesterday Gabriel gave her the whole spiel about; ‘she’d found favour with God,’ she’d have a son. ‘His name would be JESUS,’ ‘called the Son of the Highest,’ ‘given the throne of his father David,’ ‘reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

Now how would any of us good, strong, mature Christian folk, in these modern times, react to that information eh? Either by laughing or being scared to death. But Mary didn’t even bat an eyelid. She merely asked a simple but very practical question to all that info: Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?’  

Yeh friends, a very sensible and mature answer and question from a teenage girl in a backwater town in very ancient times! How could she get pregnant and bear a child without knowing a man eh? And though her faith seemed strong, she obviously hadn’t expected to be dealing with the Creator of the universe. 

And in like fashion, the angel Gabriel gave Mary a simple and straightforward answer to her million…no billion-dollar question. That’s how expensive and controversial the situation would have been back then. 

‘And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth (John the Baptist’s mother), she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:35-37) 

Now friends, a lot of us spout that line, but how many of us really believe it and try to action it eh? Not very many! But hear Mary’s response to the whole contrary, mixed up situation: ‘And Mary said, Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Now that’s why I LOVE Mary! After Jesus, she’s my most favourite character in the Good Book. From the get go she was mature and faithful about the very preposterous situation. She didn’t hem and haw like so many of us would have done…even those of supposedly great faith. Even knowing the horrific situation those things would cause in her life, she said bring it on without a fuss. 

Oh my people, my people, I sure hope we can use Mary as a shining example when the Lord calls us to do something that seems difficult and overwhelming. Remember He NEVER gives us more than we can bear, and ALWAYS helps us to complete the task. So there’s no need to be afraid or worried whenever He calls! Much LOVE!

…when the Lord says jump…it’s best to say…how high Lord…the very first time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2018 Luke 1:27.

Luke 1:27.   To a virgin espoused (engaged, betrothed) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
 

Aye friends, is Thursday…and we still alive and kicking! Thanks and glory be to our wonderful heavenly Father for that energizing gift of life. Life might be a tad on the rough side, but our God is good, so we don’t have anything to worry about. Bless His Holy Name! 

And outside is white; a decent amount of snow fell during the night. It wasn’t there when I went to bed, at some early hour (smile) but I looked outside around four a.m. and there it was, covering everything, blanketing it all white. And I said yes, today is the perfect day for that poem! 

Hn! I’m talking about one I recently read on the wall of my young daughter’s room, something she must have written ages ago when she toyed with the idea of becoming a writer. There is no title attached to the poem, but I’m naming it ‘The Alluring Beauty of Snow.’ Hope that title satisfies you daughter? (smile) 

Now please read with me, ‘The Alluring Beauty of Snow,’ by Lisa O’Brien. ‘I watched the snow drift lazily down from the overcast sky. I marvelled at the breathtaking beauty of the picture being painted right before my eyes: Snowflakes gently caressed the barren branches of the trees, leaving them awash in a dazzling whiteness. Virgin snow carpeted the streets and rooftops…

And if I didn’t know better, I would have sworn that thousands of tiny little diamonds winked out at me that early December morn… like a buried treasure…a fantasy that wasn’t real… that was intangible as the wispy cotton of the clouds! And then I waited…waited with a breathless yet uneasy sense of anticipation, for something to come along and mar this beautiful scene of serenity and perfection.’ 

Yeah mih young D! That was exactly how it looked out there this early December morn! But sadly, as always, mankind eventually comes along and dirties everything he touches. And the snow on the ground is no longer virginal, but has been raped by the cars and the feet and the bikes we use to get us around in this fallen world. 

And for those of you who have never seen virgin snow covering everything in a dim, white darkness, (smile) it does look really beautiful. But trudging and driving through it is a horse of an entirely different colour. But enough about snow, it’s the Christmas season, so let’s deal with the real reason for the season; Jesus! 

Wow friends, what a mighty name that is! Wherever it’s spoken it causes tongues to wag, either in joy, or displeasure. But the name of Jesus is never mouthed without discussion, even to the point of coming to blows. Isn’t that strange, when He is the Prince of Peace? That just goes to show the power that’s inherent in the name! 

Now let’s have a glimpse of how the whole thing began nuh. The Good Book tells us: ‘And in the sixth month (of Elizabeth’s pregnancy; John the Baptist’s mother) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused (engaged, betrothed) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail (Rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ (Luke 1:26-28) 

Ah friends, sometimes the way our God introduces Himself and His desires can be truly heart stopping. If our hearts aren’t strong we can certainly go under. Just imagine this teenaged Jewish girl nuh, sitting quietly in her house one afternoon and all of a sudden this angel shows up in all His glory and greets her in such a gracious manner. How would you react eh? It would obviously be a rather perplexing situation to us mere mortals! 

But the Good Book continues: ‘And when she (Mary) saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast (considered) in her mind what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.’ (Luke 1:29)

But our God is so wonderful that whenever He comes a calling with a task, He never leaves us without a decent explanation…according to His standards that is. (smile) We might however not be satisfied with His explanation, because He always leaves it somewhat open-ended, leaving room for our faith to step up and fill the gap. 

‘And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS (Yahweh is Salvation). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Most High): and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

Mama Yo mih breddren! Can you imagine Mary’s consternation when Gabriel lays all that heavy stuff on her? She’s already engaged, but then she shall have a son, apparently out of wedlock. Can you imagine what her small, closed knit, hypocritical society will do to her? She would be the absolute scorn of the whole town! And poor Joseph would be the laughingstock! 

But friends, our God does not put us in situations we, or He can’t handle. Please remember these immortal words of Bruh Paul on the Lord’s behalf, and let our faith be strong and steadfast in whatever He asks us to do. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Yeh friends, if God calls us and we sincerely acknowledge that calling with genuine LOVE for Him, then He will eventually work it all out for our good. That’s His promise! And our ever-faithful God NEVER reneges on a promise! So we can afford to stand strong in any circumstance whatsoever! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, goodness and mercy that the Lord has bestowed on those who LOVE Him and willingly do His work!

In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life!

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And His raison d’etre (purpose) for granting us so many wonderful blessings, is for us to go out and share them with the less fortunate. So, especially at this Christmas time, when there are so many poor and lonely folks out there, let’s share generously with them nuh, so that they too can enjoy the season of Christ’s birth; God’s greatest gift to man! Much LOVE!

…sharing with others…is Christ-like…and what Christianity is truly all about…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 September 2018 Mark 6:31.

Mark 6:31.   And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart (aside) into a desert (deserted) place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. 

Here we go again friends with the hurricane season! Hurricane Florence is barreling towards North Carolina today! I guess all we can do is pray that at the last minute the storm will veer away from the land, and if not, that it does not do significant damage. 

Ah Lord eh! As the ole people would say; when it’s not one thing, it’s another. But it’s all a part of life and we just have to keep on keeping on in Christ, regardless of what adversity comes against us. But here is an interesting poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that assures us that every so often, it’s wise to step aside from the rat race that’s life nowadays and rest a spell. It’s titled ‘Moments of Leisure. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, thank You for the moments of leisure And peaceful solitude I can legitimately snatch Here and there Without apologizing. Thank You for assuring me That I needn’t condemn myself When I spend some time Reading or resting Or shopping just for fun. Thank You for convincing me That there’s no glory In a rat race. 

I’ve discovered, dear Lord That an hour or two “Away from it all” Calms my inner muddle And cuts through the confusion. Without a driving sense of urgency I think more clearly – I plan more wisely. I am more patient, more LOVING More understanding with my family. I even accept with calmness The multiple demands imposed upon me. Thank You so much, dear God For the certain knowledge that Jesus (Who always obeyed the Father) Went apart from the crowd to rest. So must I!’ 

Yes friends, it’s essential that we step aside once in a while from our oh so busy lives and just smell the roses and enjoy the wafting breezes sent from heaven to calm our convoluted and confused spirits! Taking this world too seriously will only lead to breakdowns in all areas of our lives. Our bodies, minds, and souls simply were not meant to keep on going continually at the fast pace the world is dictating these days. 

So please step aside and rest every so often. Just leave the world and all of its nonsense alone for a spell and rest in the comfort of your God, doing whatever makes you calm and comfortable. It’s not a sin to do that. It’s more likely sinful to continue on the fast track when your body is crying out for rest and release. 

And we have a perfect example of that necessity in our Bit and the Bible Promise for the poem. After Herod killed John the Baptist and gave his head on a charger to His wife, the disciples came and told Jesus about it, also about what they had done and taught. 

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart (aside) into a desert (deserted) place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert (deserted) place by ship privately (by themselves).’ (Mark 6:31-32) 

Oh my people, if our Lord and Saviour saw the need for occasional rest and privacy, why wouldn’t we eh? Instead of allowing the world to drive us unceasingly in our efforts to gain earthly wealth and power, we need to slow down every so often and take a break from it all. 

And right after that instance above, He fed the multitude of five thousand with five loaves of bread and two small fishes, then He sent them away again to rest. ‘And straightway he constrained (compelled) his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before (before him) unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people (multitude). And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.’ (Mark 6:45-46) 

Even Jesus needed to rest and recuperate after doing those miracles and having so many people around Him just pleading for their own desires to be fulfilled. It does take a toll on the human body when it’s bothered and badgered too much. And please note what Jesus went away by Himself to do; pray. Pray to His heavenly Father to ‘renourish’ His spiritual self and seek the Father’s guidance, for He came to do the Father’s work, and that necessitated occasional deep communion. 

So my brethren, we need not take the fast track that the world offers us. We have the option of taking the slower one that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ offers. So which will it be eh? It’s all up to us individually, but I do hope that the Spirit of wisdom guides us to accept the latter, because that’s the wiser and more amenable choice. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and true heart: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

So let’s go out and do exactly that nuh! Much LOVE!

…the race is not for the swift…but for the sure of foot…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Well friends, here we are again on another beautiful Tuesday morning in the land of the living, blessed to the gills; filled to the brim with all the innate goodness and mercy of Jesus, just waiting to be brought forth in truthful words and LOVING actions! 

Hn, hn! A good mouthful that! But it’s ALL true! Yes my brethren, all the goodness and mercy of Jesus has been planted in us, like seeds in the ground, since the day we accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour! Now it’s our responsibility to let those seeds grow in us and blossom forth with much good fruit. 

Remember, Jesus said: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ (Matt.7:20) So the world will know whether we are true disciples of Jesus or not, by the fruit we bear. So let’s be diligent to bear good fruit in His name nuh. 

And today we’ll continue with our Bit on compassions, because it’s such an important aspect of our God, and consequently our Christian lives. Moreover, compassionate behaviour is one of the ways that we are indeed able to bear good fruit. 

‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

Oh my people, every time I read that passage, thankfulness and gratitude just wells up within me! Let’s hope it does in you too, because it’s only through God’s exceptional LOVING-kindness that we have hope of eternal life and not everlasting darkness and damnation! 

And finally I get to do what I wanted to from the beginning; show the compassion of our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ as recorded in the Good Book. (smile) Oh friends, if nothing else, Jesus was filled with compassion for the lost, the sick, the sorrowful; anyone who had a need, and to be true disciples of His, we also ought to have that compassionate mentality. 

Hear the Good Book tell it: ‘And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’ (Matt.9:35-36) 

Ah friends, sadly, that same condition still exists in our time today. There are numerous needy sheep scattered around our world, our individual countries and individual neighbourhoods with no shepherd. What are we doing, or going to do about them eh? 

Listen to Jesus when He saw that sad situation. ‘Then saith he (Jesus) unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt.9:37-38) 

Oh my people are we so moved when we see the poverty and sickness and great need that exist in this supposed prosperous society? Do we pray to the Lord to send forth more harvesters; missionaries, evangelists, doctors, nurses, philanthropists, etc. etc. to help those in need? And do we ourselves try to up our contributions to the betterment of the situation in some form or the other? 

That’s what we as Christians, as true believers and followers of Christ ought to be doing! But obviously we are not doing it as well as we should, else the mass of needy humanity in our society would not be as great as it currently is. 

Now here is another instance of Jesus’ compassion from the Good Book. This was after Herod killed John the Baptist and his head given to his (Herod’s wife). ‘And his (John’s) disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. 

When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart (by himself): and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.’ (Matt.14:12-14) 

Ah mih breddren, yuh think Jesus didn’t feel sorrow and emotional pain too? Remember He was fully human, so He certainly did, as indicated by His going away by Himself after hearing about John the Baptist’s death. Remember too that John was His cousin, His forerunner. And though they did not associate much, He was still moved, because He knew that it was basically on His account that John lost his life. 

But even then, when He saw the multitudes of poor, needy and sick people, He could not avoid having compassion on them. Oh my fellow believers that’s how we ought to be too! Obviously we’ll not be able to alleviate all the suffering in the world, but come the judgement day it will be very beneficial to us, if the Lord could point out many acts of compassion which we did on His behalf, while here on earth. 

Now let’s go home, declaring who and whose we are through our Tuesday Mantra, which has compassion as a central theme. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, sharing Jesus’ LOVE with the world is compassion. So let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…when Christians show true compassion…they are being truly Christ-like…


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